Registration Of Trade Union


Every trade union and employers’ organization to which the Act applies shall be registered in accordance with this Act.

  • Mode of Registration (Sec. 4)-
  1. Any seven or more members of a Trade Union may, by subscribing their names to the rules of Trade Union and by otherwise complying with the provisions of the Act with respect to registration, apply for registration of the Trade Union under this Act.
  2. Where an application has been made under sub-section (1) for the registration of a Trade Union, such application shall not be deemed to have become invalid merely by reason of the fact that, at any time after the date of the application, but before registration of the Trade Union, some of the application, but not exceeding half of the total number of persons who made the application, have ceased to be members of the Trade Union or have given notice in writing to the Registrar dissociating themselves from the applications.
  3. The Supreme Court in Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam held that any group of employees may be registered as a trade union under the Act for the purpose of regulating the relations between them and their employer or between themselves. Court said it would be apparent from this definition that any group of employees which come together primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between them and their employer or between them and other workmen may be registered as a trade union under the Act. It cannot be disputed that the relationship between the appellant and the workmen in question is that of employer and employee. The registration of the association of the said workmen as a trade union under the Act has nothing to do with whether the said wings of the appellant are an industry or not. Therefore, High Court went into the said issue, although the same has not arisen before it.    
  • Application for Registration (Sec.5)-
  1. Every application for registration of a Trade Union shall be made to the Registrar and shall be accompanied by a copy of the rules of the Trade Union and a statement of the following particulars-  
  2. The names, occupations and address of the members making application.
  3. The name of the Trade Union and the address of its head office. 
  4. The titles, names, ages, addresses and occupations of the office-bearers of the Trade Union. 
  5. Where a Trade Union has been in existence for more than one year before the making of an application for its registration, the same shall be delivered to the Registrar, together with the application, a general statement of the assets and liabilities of the Trade Union prepared in such from and containing such particulars as may be prescribed. 
  • Provisions to be Contained in the Rule of a Trade Union (Sec.6)-

Union shall not be entitled to registration under this Act, unless the executive thereof is constituted in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the rules thereof provide for the following matters-

  1. The name of the Trade Union.
  2. The whole of the objects for which the Trade Union has been established.
  3. The whole of the purposes for which the general funds of the Trade Union shall be applicable, all of the purposes to which such funds are lawfully applicable under this Act.
  4. The maintenance of a list of the members of the Trade Union and adequate facilities for the inspection thereof by the office-bearers and members of Trade Union.
  5. The admission of ordinary members who shall be persons actually engaged or employed in an industry with which the Trade Union is connected, and also the admission of the number of honorary or temporary members as office-bearers required under section 22 to form executive of the Trade Union.
  6. T. Chandrasennan the court held that “the members of trade unions are members under section 6. The payment of the subscription by members to the trade union has been made compulsory under the section. The trade unions cannot refuse to receive subscription from its members”.

  • Power to Call for Further Particulars and to Require Alterations of Names (Sec.7)-
  1. The Registrar may call for further information for the purpose of satisfying himself that any application complies with the provisions of section 5, or that the Trade Union is entitled to registration under section 6, and may refuse to register the Trade Union until such information is supplied. 
  2. If the name under a Trade Union is proposed to be registered is identical with that by which any other existing Trade Union has been registered or, in the opinion of the Registrar, so nearly resembles such name as to be likely to deceive the public or the members of either Trade Union, the Registrar shall require the persons applying for registration to alter the name of the Trade Union stated in the application, and shall refuse to register tile Union until such alteration has been made.

  • Registration (Sec.8)-

The Registrar, on being satisfied that the Trade Union has complied with all the requirements of the Act in regard to registration, shall register the Trade Union by entering in a register, to be maintained in such form as may be prescribed the particulars relating to the Trade Union contained in the statement accompanying the application for registration.

In North Central Railway Employees Sangh and Ors. It was held that:

Whether the registration is rightly given or not, can be examined only by the competent statutory authority established under the Trade Union Act. The police authorities have no competence to give opinion on this aspect.

  • Time Period for Registration of Trade Union-

No time period for the grant or refusal of registration has been mentioned in the Act. There is only statutory duty of the Registrar to register a trade union if the requirements of the statute have been compiled with. In ACC Rajanka Lime Stone Quarries Mazdoor Union, High Court of Patna held that Sec.8 imposes the statutory duty upon the Registrar to register a trade union on being satisfied that it had complied with the requirements of the Act. The court directed the Registrar of Trade Unions to perform the statutory duty imposed upon him under Sec.7 & 8 and to deal with the trade union according to law at an early date.


  • Scope of Inquiry (Sec.8)-

In Inland Seam Navigation Worker’s Union a request for registration was made through an application by the worker’s union but it was turned down by the Registrar declaring it unlawful on the basis of its object to be for all practical purposes. 

It was also said that the Registrar is taking up the attitude is wrong. The function of the Registrar is given under Section 8 of the Trade Union Act i.e. registrar only have right to check the requirements to form Trade Union are fulfilled or not. Registrar is not required to go deep in the history of the association. The question of being unlawful is not under the jurisdiction of the Registrar. It is not the right or work of the Registrar to check the legality of association. 

  • Constitutional Problems-

The Calcutta High Court observed in the case of Kesoram Rangan Worker’s Union that the freedom guaranteed under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution belongs to all workmen, so that every workmen has the freedom to form a union of his own choice and to refuse to become a member of any union which he does not like, no union can claim a monopoly or a right to complain if some other union is brought into existence by other workmen. 

  • Certificate of Registration (Sec.9)-

The Registrar, on registering a Trade Union under section 8, shall issue a certificate of registration in the prescribed form which shall be conclusive evidence that the Trade Union has been duly registered under this Act. This finality is only for the purposes of the Act and cannot in any way affect the power of the High Court under the Article 226 of the Constitution as the provisions of the statute are always subjected to the jurisdiction of the constitution.

  • Minimum Number of Members Required for A Trade Union


A registered Trade Union of workmen shall at all times continue to have not less than 10% of 100 of the workmen, whichever is less, subject to a minimum of 7 members, engaged or employed is an establishment or industry with which it is connected, as its members. 



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